The Beatles’ hit album rejected number one (again)

The Beatles’ hopes of righting a historic mistake in their chart record have been dashed by pop star Taylor Swift.

The Fab Four released a new version of their biggest hits album Red and Blue last week, in the hope that one of them will top the UK album charts.

But Swift wasn’t ready to let it go, with her 1989 pop masterpiece (Taylor’s Version) claiming the crown for a third week.

The Beatles faced a similar situation when their album Red and Blue first came out in 1973. At the time, David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane denied their album a number one spot.

This week, both records ended up in the exact same chart positions as they were 50 years ago.

The Red Album (technically called The Beatles 1962–1966) was number three and the Blue Album (The Beatles 1967–1970) was number two.


However, The Beatles are still the artist with the most number one UK albums of all time, with 15 albums.

Rolling Stone called the original Red and Blue compilation “the most perfect eight-side album ever made”.

The re-released version features new mixes of their biggest hits, alongside the “new” song Now And Then, based on a 1970s John Lennon demo.

The albums have also been supplemented with 20 additional songs, including Twist And Shout, Taxman, Dear Prudence and Blackbird.

But the band was unable to topple Taylor Swift, whose re-recorded version of 1989 had become one of the best-selling albums of the year in just three weeks.

Elsewhere, dance kingpins Chase & Status scored their fifth top 10 album with 2 Ruff, Vol. 1.

Helped by the big hit singles Disconnect (with Becky Hill) and Baddadan (with Bou, Flowdan, IRAH, Trigga and Takura), the album debuted at number four.

And South African pop star Babyqueen scores a new entry at number five with her debut album, Quarter Life Crisis.

On the singles chart, Jack Harlow’s viral hit Lovin On Me went straight to number one, giving the rapper his first chart-topper in the UK.

Based on a sample of the 1995 R&B song Whatever by Cadillac Dale, it was also the most streamed song of the week, with 5.1 million plays.

The American star teased snippets of the song for weeks on social media, creating pent-up demand when it finally landed on streaming services last week.

Its success saw Dua Lipa finish in runner-up with Houdini, the first song from her upcoming album.

A slice of club-friendly, psychedelic pop, Lipa says the song begins an album-long narrative about the joys of being single, and acts as a bridge between the disco vibes of her last record, Future Nostalgia, and her new material.

“It felt like it encapsulated everything that was to come, even though everything that was to come was very different. It felt like a fun way to start.”

Elsewhere on the singles chart, Noah Kahan’s Season of the Sticks completed a four-month run to the top five.

The pensive ballad initially found success on TikTok over the summer, but didn’t catch on until pop star Olivia Rodrigo covered it on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, external last month.

The song made its chart debut at number 69 shortly thereafter, and reached number five this week.

Meanwhile, Christmas carols began to experience an annual increase.

After entering the Top 40 last week, Wham’s Last Christmas jumped 11 places to 26th, while Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You rose 12 places to 28th.